Post Graduate Students: Choosing the Right Accommodation

We know that finding the right accommodation can be really stressful, especially for post graduate students.

When you are an undergraduate, it’s usually more fun to live in university halls in your first year and then move into communal accommodation with all of your friends. The fun never stops!

Things are a little different for someone completing a post graduate course, as there’s more work involved, meaning less time to go out all the time. This means that sometimes it’s preferable to find somewhere a little more private where you can get on with all your work in peace.

Here at CityBlock, we understand this, and that’s why we offer a brilliant alternative to our standard ensuite communal flats.


These self-contained studio apartments, in both Lancaster and Leicester, are suited to the post graduate student. This is because they are more private, which is perfect for the more mature student. They allow students to still have the independence of living alone, but also experience the same brilliant benefits that we offer in all student housing.

Some of these exciting benefits are listed below.





All Bills Included – Just like with any of our properties, all your utility bills are included in the price of the rent. This makes it far easier to budget, as you know exactly what you’re spending every month.   






Ensuite Room – All self-contained flats are private with their own bathrooms. This means no more queuing early in the morning when you are desperate for the toilet! Win!






Cleaning – Yup, we provide weekly cleaning free of charge. This means you can concentrate on your studying a lot more.






Equipped Kitchen – Our self-contained studios include everything a student will need in a kitchen. They include a dishwasher! So that means you don’t have to waste valuable studying time after dinner washing all the pots.






Smart TV and Sky Digital – Our studio apartments all contain TVs with inbuilt freeview. We also offer pay-as-you-view Sky where you don’t have to sign up for anything!

These are just some of our favourite reasons to choose CityBlock. We also offer a printing service, an onsite laundry and 24 hour security.

All of our apartments are in city centre locations, meaning you are always in the heart of the city!


These are just a selection of the great benefits you get when choosing student accommodation with CityBlock. If you’re interested in any of our apartments, or you have any questions, then please feel free to get in touch. You can contact us on 01524 541251 for any queries about our student housing in Lancaster, or on 0116 2517270 for our Leicester housing; a member of our helpful team will be happy to help.



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Richard III: Car Park Grave to Royal Re-Burial

He was the last medieval monarch of England; the much-maligned king depicted by Shakespeare as a devious, hunchbacked murderer and the last ruler to die in battle on English soil. This week, however, he’s Leicester’s biggest attraction, drawing crowds of thousands to see his bones and attend his reburial.

Here at CityBlock, we watched the queues grow and grow as people waited for up to four hours to view his coffin as it stood on display at Leicester Cathedral.

That’s quite a show for somebody who died 530 years ago! So, who was Richard III anyway?

Step back in time to the mid-fifteenth century. Henry VI is on the throne (not the one with the wives) and he’s thought to be a bit bonkers. In 1453, he basically stops doing anything for a year – not even acknowledging the birth of his son. That’s not what you want from a ruler, so Richard of York (he who gave battle in vain) decides that he can king better than Henry. He leads an army into battle at St Albans, of all places, in 1455, kicking off a war between the House of York and the House of Lancaster that would last the next thirty years.

Henry VI gets captured a couple of times, Richard of York gets named Protector of England, his son Edward becomes King Edward IV, but is then exiled and Henry gets put back on the throne – for all of six months. Edward comes back, Henry is murdered in the Tower of London, and it all looks ready to settle down again.

Unfortunately, Edward then dies unexpectedly. His brother Richard, not wanting his sister-in-law involved in the government, steps in to become – yes, you got it, Richard III. He locks Edward’s two sons up in the Tower of London, and they’re never seen again. Did Richard kill them? To be honest, nobody knows.

In steps Henry of Tudor, a relative of the Lancasters, supplied with troops by the French. He leads his army to the Battle of Bosworth Field on the 22nd August 1485, where Richard III is decisively defeated – and killed, bringing the War of the Roses to an end.

Richard was buried without pomp, and his grave was lost until it was rediscovered just three years ago under a car park.

And that brings us to today. Despite campaigns from some quarters to have Richard buried in Yorkshire – he was of the House of York, after all – the decision was made to keep him in Leicester, with a re-interment ceremony fit for a king.

Today’s ceremony will include a poem read by Richard III’s second cousin 16 times removed. Who? Why, Benedict Cumberbatch, of course! According to genealogists, millions of us are probably related to Richard III, but Cumberbatch can claim a bit of a closer link than most. He’ll also be playing him in the upcoming BBC Two drama series The Hollow Crown: War of the Roses. Great for those who want to know more about history and those who just love a bit of Cumberbatch alike!

If you chose Lancaster over York (in terms of university places) then you can check out our student housing in Lancaster – for more information, get in touch with us today!

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Extra-Curricular App-tivities: The Mobile Apps That’ll Broaden Your Horizons

Ok, so you’re at uni – that’s cool, but it can’t all be about learning Marxist theory or burying your head in the set texts, right? Sometimes you’ll want to broaden your horizons independently too. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the best apps on the market that’ll teach you more than what’s on the ol’ uni curriculum.



Salut. Ciao. Guten tag. Fancy learning a new language? Then have DuoLingo will steer you right. The best part about DuoLingo – which is available as an app on all mobile platforms, as well as on your desktop – is that it treats the whole process as a game. And one that makes learning fun!



It’s the year of coding. Besides all those awesome coding parties you’ve undoubtedly been attending, you’ll probably want to be learning a little coding yourself. With TouchDevelop from Microsoft Research you can create tons of apps on your phone or computer. If you make the next Facebook, though, do remember us.


Pocket First Aid and CPR

Developed by the American Heart Association, this app will give you the lowdown on, y’know, saving someone’s life (which makes you as cool as Superman). From the correct way to perform CPR, to other first aid know-how, the Pocket First Aid and CPR app has it all. Available for iPhone and Android for £1.49.



Your mate Ted from Telford may think he knows everything, but the TED app has got even him beat. Science, health, pop culture – there’s no topic speakers for TED don’t have a handle on. Get the app for the latest news, the thoughts of innovative visionaries and general genius.

…Sometimes, uh, the word… you know what I mean, that word, it… Just… Escape! That was it. The word escape just escapes you. Download the app, though, and you’ll have all those beautiful words, and their synonyms, at your fingertips. Perfect for when the, uh… Yeah, that.



Coursera, available on iPhone and Android, is essentially an online university, without the student fees. The classes cover a whole breadth of topics, and features videos and lessons from big-shot professors from Oxford, Harvard and Yale, so you can be sure you’re getting the finest education without ever moving from the couch.


Getting a little learning under your belt is never a bad thing, even if you’re already settled at university, or heading there in September. Here’s another fact you might not know, here at CityBlock we specialise in awesome student accommodation in Leicester and Lancaster. For more info, simply contact us on (Leicester) 0116 251 7270 or (Lancaster) 01524 541 251 and our team will be delighted to assist with your enquiries. Ok, class dismissed!

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Press Play: Game Soundtracks to Study To

Man, studying can be a real drag sometimes. Not always – sometimes you get your nose buried in an awesome book and you’re set for the whole evening. But sometimes… Well, sometimes doing absolutely anything except studying can seem like a great idea. Suddenly that dirty laundry that’s been piling up for weeks becomes urgent; you discover just how exciting professional paint-drying watching can be; and you wish you could just get on the Xbox or PlayStation and game the night away.


But hey, studying is pretty important, right? That’s why we go to uni. So if you’re craving a games sesh, but really need to crack on with your work then why not kill two birds with one stone (not literally though, that’ll get you into big-time trouble with the police, the RSPCA and your own conscience)? Listening to music can be pretty beneficial to some when studying – it keeps the mind focussed. But roll over, Beethoven – we’re going to list the best video game soundtracks to study to, starting with…


The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

Ocarina of Time is considered by just about everybody as one of the best Zelda titles out there. No surprise, then, that the soundtrack is also one of the best out there. That’s what you’d expect from composer, Koji Kondo, who’s scored tons of classic Nintendo games, from Super Mario to Star Fox.


Assassin’s Creed II

Travel back to Renaissance Italy while studying your psychoanalytical texts with the Assassin’s Creed II OST. Befitting a game that’s set in both the present and the past, Jesper Kyd’s epic and emotional composition takes full advantage of a 35-piece orchestra, choral vocals, and even electric guitars.


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

Whether you play Call of Duty or not, there’s no denying that the frantic, fast-paced soundtrack perfectly captures the gameplay. We have uber-maestro Hans Zimmer to thank for that. When that ominous deadline’s approaching, few soundtracks will get you pumped the way this does!


Literally Any Final Fantasy

There’s a pretty strong argument to be made that video game soundtracks are today’s classical music. If that’s true – and it is – then never is it more true than with the work of Nobuo Uematsu, who’s scored most of the Final Fantasy games, and renders pretty much every emotion anyone has ever experienced. Even when the game series lost its way, the music has remained strong. Sure, if we had to pick one for studying, we’d choose Final Fantasy VII. But they’re all great.


So now you’re ready to study – and you can relive all your favourite video game moments at the same time! And if you still haven’t found the ideal student accommodation in Leicester or Lancaster to study in, then we’ve got you covered. For more info on our available accommodation, just go ahead and contact us on (Lancaster) 01524 541 251 or (Leicester) 0116 251 7270 and our staff will be delighted to help.

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University Survival Guide

Your time spent at university will be one of the best of your life, and hopefully you’ll remember it for all the right reasons.

While being a student is great fun, it can also be pretty hard to get through the year at times. At CityBlock, we want to make sure you have a great time at university, so here is our university survival guide.


It’s boring, it’s hard and sometimes it will keep you up at night. However, whether you want it to be or not, budgeting is a necessary part of student life.

There will be certain points of the year where your pockets are feeling emptier and you’ll be desperately waiting for your loan payment, so it is important to make savings where you can.

Work out how much you will need each week for your food and rent, and try to cut back on all non-essentials. Shops like Poundland, Aldi and Lidl will also help you save a lot of money on your groceries.

Student budgeting sites offer lots of deals and vouchers for rare savings, which can be anything from 20% off video games to a free bottle of soft drink. These sites are great for times when you need presents for friends and family, or if you want to treat yourself without breaking the bank.

House Sharing

House sharing can be one of the best, but also most testing experiences of your life. You will start to get annoyed when your flatmates don’t do the washing up, come home making lots of noise at 4am or never take out the recycling (and they’ll get annoyed at you if you do the same!).

It can be hard to find the right balance between having a good friendship and being good housemates. Try not to nag, and be considerate of others by being as tidy and helpful as possible. If they really don’t contribute, politely ask them every once in a while to help out. If you’re helping alongside them, it’s far less confrontational.


Yep, coursework. It may be the last thing on your mind when you come to university, but without some work and organisation, you could find yourself buried in essays and on the verge of a breakdown.

Never fear. Try to plan out your coursework as far in advance as possible. This will give you time to do your research, change your mind about topics and see your tutor if you are stuck without having to lock yourself away and miss out on all the fun that university has to offer.

University is a great experience, and with this survival guide you have nothing to fear. Finding the right accommodation is also important, and if you are looking for student accommodation in Leicester or Lancaster, CityBlock offers modern, en-suite student rooms in convenient locations. For more information, contact us today by calling 0116 2517270.

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Finding the Perfect Housemate

You, you’re the perfect housemate, right? Obviously you are; you’re intelligent, respectful, and you can cook up a mean spag-bol. But what about everyone else? How do you know what to look for when interviewing potential housemates to come live in your awesome student accommodation in Leicester or Lancaster or wherever you’re based?


Living with new folk isn’t easy, but there are a few pointers to look for. Like, if you’re a bookish studier, you’re not gonna wanna live with a metalhead who can’t hear music unless it’s cranked all the way up to 11. And if you’re that metalhead, that bookish study-lover probably won’t fit in with your lifestyle. So…


Know Who You Want (Sort of)

Like everything in life, it’s a good idea to have an end-goal in mind. Knowing what type of housemate you’re looking for is a good start, what sort of personality, temperament, that sort of thing – but be flexible. If you have a single vision of your ideal housemate, you’ll still be looking for them long after you graduate.





Don’t Live with Pals

Living with friends can seem like an great idea, but those quirks you adore down the pub can pretty swiftly turn into rage-inducing habits. Familiarity breeds contempt. And back-stabbing. And…





Look Beyond the Smile

That guy or gal you’re interviewing may be the friendliest person you’ve ever met. They laugh at your jokes, tell awesome anecdotes, and really seem like they’ll fit in. Know who else is like that? Psychopaths. Ok, we’re not suggesting you’ll get brutally murdered in your sleep, but it’s important to judge a person on more than just their amiable exterior.





Study Habits

Finding out about your potential housemate’s study habits is crucial. If there’s any chance they’ll cause a distraction while you’re trying to work, it’s going to end the same way as Russell Brand and Katy Perry’s relationship – badly.





Domesticate It

Living with someone requires a whole lot of give and take. So is your housemate prepared to help out with the chores, or are you going to do find them slobbing out on the couch, conspicuously avoiding three months-worth of dishes in the sink? And if that slob is you, it’s no good enlisting a clean-freak for a housemate.




Don’t Be That Housemate (And Don’t Let Them Be That Housemate Either)

It’s not always going to be easy co-habiting with others. But that doesn’t mean it’s a licence to go writing passive-aggressive notes, or putting post-it notes on absolutely everything. Choose a housemate with whom, even when the chips are down (and the laundry’s piling up), you feel comfortable talking about problems.







Now you’re set to find your perfect housemate – it’s one of the most exciting aspects of uni, meeting new people and making new friends. And if you’re still looking for awesome accommodation, we can lend a hand, with premium flats and houses for individuals and groups. To get the low-down, simply contact us on (Lancaster) 01524 541 251 or (Leicester) 0116 251 7270 and our team will be delighted to help.

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What’s On in Leicester and Lancaster for Chinese New Year

February 19th is a date to mark in your calendars. It is, after all, Chinese New Year – Year of the Sheep, in fact – and that means there’s gonna be a whole lot of celebratin’ over the coming days. So let’s take a cheeky gander at all the awesome events going on in Leicester and Lancaster, and how you can celebrate Chinese-style!


The Chinese New Year Celebration Gala – Friday, 20th February 2015

Where: The Athena

When: 7pm


Fancying checking out some great traditional Chinese entertainment, coupled with plenty of performances? Then the Confucius Institute has got you covered. There’ll be a mix of singing, dancing and comedy from a wide range of cultural groups. And don’t forget the traditional Chinese dumplings that’ll be served up throughout the night. Tickets for the gala cost £12 and can be obtained by emailing the Confucius Institute.



Chinese New Year Funfair – Saturday, 21st February 2015

Where: Victoria Street, Morecambe

When: 11am – 5pm


Morecambe puts the fun into funfair with their unique New Year celebrations. Take a wander down Victoria Street, just south of the beach, and discover enticing food and drink stalls. Pop along to the Winter Gardens car park for a thrill-seeking funfair. And delight in the many performances that’ll be taking place – including the Northern Dragons Lion Dance Team, Blackpool’s Qilin Team and the Batala samba drumming group, who’ll be performing at 11:45am, 12:45pm and joining the epic parade which starts at 2pm.


Chinese New Year Carnival – Sunday, 1st March 2015

Where: Market Square, Lancaster

When: 10am – 5pm


This year will be Lancaster’s biggest celebrations yet! There’ll be not one, not three, but two stages featuring live performances. Market Square will play host to the Lebara Mobile Stage, where you can catch the Malaysian 24 Festival Drums, alongside the vibrant Northern Dragons and Hung Gar lion dance squads. And let’s not forget Blackpools Qinlin team and firm favourites, Lancaster’s Batala samba drumming team, who will be performing at 11:45am, 12:45pm. Then check out the incredible parade, which starts at 2pm on Penny Street.


10th Anniversary Gala

Where: Lancaster Town Hall

When: 12pm – 3pm


The 10th Anniversary Gala will be the ultimate celebration of the Year of the Sheep. The Hua Xian Chinese Society will be putting on an absolute must-see show featuring the Sichuan Performing Arts troupe. It’ll be a breathtaking display of martial arts, acrobatics and artistry that showcases some seriously amazing acts of human agility. Fun for all the family. Tickets cost £15 for adults, £8 for children under 16. Under-fives go free.


And now you’re all set to see in the Chinese New Year. Bit better than a drizzly firework or two along the Thames! You’ll feast on traditional Chinese foods and drop your jaw at these wonderful performances. Need more reasons to head here? How about our outstanding student accommodation in Leicester and Lancaster? For more info, simply contact us on (Lancaster) 01524 541 251 or (Leicester) 0116 251 7270 and our team will be delighted to assist.

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University Bucket List

University is a very unique time of life. While you get more independence when living away from home and making your own decisions day-to-day, you still don’t have to deal with a lot of the responsibilities associated with adult life. Sadly, university isn’t forever, but that just makes it all the more special. Here is our university bucket list – a list of things you need to do before you leave university.

Use Your Student Discount…FOR EVERYTHING!

10% and 20% discounts may not seem like much, but you’ll miss them when they’re gone. Whether it’s a local takeaway, the hairdresser, Topshop or the cinema, use your student discount wisely. And by wisely, we mean all the time.

Go to Lectures in Your Pyjamas

Going to a lecture in your pyjamas, or any other inappropriately comfortable clothing, has to be one of the most shameless things you can do while at university. It may be embarrassing, everyone including the lecturer will probably stare at you, but after a while you’ll be so comfy that you don’t care.

Gorge Like You’ve Never Gorged Before

You’re in charge of what you eat, but still young enough to not feel bad about eating £40 worth of fast food in one sitting. Make the most of it; you’ve only got three or four years before you have to eat fruit and vegetables more than once a week.

Be a Freshers’ Rep

If your university has a scheme for mentoring Freshers during Freshers’ Week, get involved! Not only do you get to relive your own Freshers’ Week, but you get to pass on some knowledge to the new students and make some new friends along the way. Don’t be shy!

Get Involved in Something Different

Whether it’s a sport, activity or society, take a risk and do something you’ve never done before. At university, you are offered a range of activities and opportunities that you may never have the chance of trying out again. You may end up finding that it was the best decision you made at university.

Have Fun

Whatever you do at university, make sure you look back on the experience and smile. It’s your time to discover who you are and what you want from life. You only have a limited time before you are out into the real world, so enjoy it.

We hope you enjoyed reading our university bucket list. Enjoy yourselves this term and let your hair down before exams roll around. If you are looking for Lancaster University accommodation, CityBlock offer a range of ensuite and studio student accommodation right in the heart of the city. For more information, contact us today by calling 01524 541251 or email

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New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Keep

Ok, so 2015 is here – still no sign of flying cars and Hoverboards, but they’ll come, right? We’ve been promised them in all those sci-fi films, and since when have movies ever lied? Chances are, by this late stage  in the year you’ve given up on all those totally commendable but unrealistic resolutions. So how about lowering your ambitions just a tad and trying these resolutions instead, like…


Watch That Film You Always Meant To


There are some films that everyone else, it seems, has seen. And once they’ve seen it, they won’t stop banging on about how you just have to see it – or else all the raccoons in the rainforest will perish. Or something. This year, just take the plunge. Watch that film, it’ll probably be on Netflix anyway. And hey, you might actually enjoy it.


Sleep In


Early mornings are for the birds – literally. So why not just set those alarms a little later, and enjoy the cosiness of your bed for longer? Hey, it’s winter, it’s freezing outside, and the mornings are blacker now than they are on the dark side of moon. Might as well stay under the duvet.


Order Takeaway Once a Week


Cooking can be a serious chore. Especially when you’ve just written a 2000-word essay or read through the entire collection of Bronte novels. So treat yourself to a takeaway – you deserve it. Crack open the laptop, or download an app, and you can do it without ever having to shift position from the couch. Or talk to anyone. Bonus!


Buy Your Buddy a Drink


Want to be sociable? Just go right ahead and take your best-mate out to the pub. All year round they put up with all your incomprehensible superstitions like touching red whenever you see a Royal mail van, so treat them to the drink of their choice. Coke, Kopparberg, Champagne, it’s their call. That’s what friends are for – and they may buy you one right back too.


Waste Time on Youtube


Let’s face it, we’re all gonna do this one anyway, right? So might as well make it official and call it a New Year’s resolution. In between all of your studies, you need some you-time – and what better way than with Youtube? Whether it’s a Nostalgia Critic marathon or watching hours of videos of cats doing cat thing in a catty way, it’s perfect for unwinding after a long day at class.


Ditch New Year’s Resolutions


Man, aren’t you sick of all those failed resolutions, the ones that are just too hard to keep? This year, make your New Year’s resolution a promise to yourself not have any New Year’s Resolutions. If you want to call your mum every week, or quit the smokes, or study more you can – and you don’t need 2015 to be the excuse to do it!


Ready for the New Year? What do you plan to do to make 2015 seriously special? Here at CityBlock we’ve resolved to make this year the best ever for our residents. If you’re looking for awesome student accommodation in Leicester or Lancaster, then we’ve totally got you covered. For more information, just get in touch by calling (Leicester) 0116 251 7270 or (Lancaster) 01524 541 251 or email and our team will be delighted to assist you.

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WHAT’S ON LEICESTER: February 2015

‘Sup student, welcome back! …How was your Christmas?


Yup. We hear ya, fat cat!

Christmas feels like some sort of magical dream lost somewhere amidst the January deadlines, the student-loan waiting game and the once again blurry antics of your New Year’s Resolution fails, but don’t worry! Only 344 days ‘til the next winter wonderland, eh?

Anyway, as we’re sure you’re all being perfect humans since you’ve been back (meeting your deadlines, going to the gym and recycling your plastics from your cardboards…) we thought we’d give you a little heads up as to the delightful things you can look forward to next month.

So, get your diaries out – here are a few early-Feb dates for all the Leicester-lovers!

Firebug Pub Quiz – Every Tuesday


…Hey! Nice beer garden.

If you’re bored at home, or just fancy a ‘hooray we survived Tuesday’ pint – get yourselves down to the Firebug for their weekly pub quiz. After all, you’ll learn some things (so it definitely counts as extracurricular activities…) and your team ‘The Hunks’ will probably lose – but it’s all about the taking part, right?

P.s Don’t forget Firebug’s Comedy Night with Gareth Richardson on the 7th Feb, guys! For more information – visit the Firebug website.

Leicester Uni Food Chain Bar Crawl – 6th February 2015



MEET AT: The Corn Exchange @ 8pm

When it comes to fancy dress themes, this one’s got to be one of the weirdest, but hey! When at uni… So, the plan is – 1st years dress up as plants, 2nd years as herbivores and 3rd and 4th years as carnivores – and you go out, as one big, hot, food chain mess, and get drunk! (Gutted if you’re a plant, but at least you’ll be a big, impressive carnivore in a few years time!)

For more information, visit the Leicester Student Union’s page.

Moscow State Circus @ Curve Theatre – 6th – 8th February 2015


Arguably the greatest and most famous circus show on earth, Moscow State Circus is set to hit Leicester with its latest production, ‘Park Gorkogo’! So, if you fancy a little culture and looking to do something a bit different with your evening, why not?

For more information or to book tix – visit the Curve Theatre website.

DSU Charity Tandem Skydive @ Langar Airfield – 11th February 2015


Fancy yourself as a bit of an adrenaline junkie? If so, why not get involved in the DSU charity tandem skydive in aid of RAG week? The jump costs just £50, and all proceeds go to the wonderful Joe Humphries Memorial Trust – so, if you’re looking to fill your 2015 with worthwhile endeavours – this is it!

For more information, visit the DSU Student Union’s website and contact the organisers!

Jeremih LIVE @ Club Republic – 11th February 2015

If you’re a fan of the US artist, he’s set to take the stage at Leicester’s No.1 nightclub, bringing his floor filling anthems from 10pm – 4am. Tickets are £12 with booking fee, so if you fancy a night of droppin’ and twerkin like ya just don’t care – you got it! Let’s hope he brings Fiddy with him.

For the haters – if you’re 100% sure you don’t know who he is… watch the vid above and prepare to be ashamed. You got this!

Book your tickets over on the Skiddle website.

Don’t forget to tune in again soon for a few more Feb-tastic diary dates, lads and lasses! Here at CityBlock, we’re proud to be one of the leading providers of quality, modern and innovative student accommodation in Leicester and Lancaster. So, if you’d like a little more information or want to book a room – get in contact with our friendly team on 0116 251 7250 or email us at!

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